Top 5 Superhero Moments of 2014
By Phil Boothman
It’s no secret that superheroes are everywhere these days, and 2014 has been one of the biggest years for them so far. That means there have been countless amazing superhero moments across film and television, so many that it is difficult to narrow it down. But I’m nothing if not a grafter, so here are my top 5 superhero moments from 2014!
5. The Boxing Glove Arrow – Arrow
In many ways this was a minor moment in the reference-packed festival of bonkers superhero action that is Arrow, but during a brief scuffle with former vigilante Ted ‘Wildcat’ Grant in the season 3 episode “Guilty” there is a moment where Oliver stabs an arrow into a boxing glove and creates the Boxing Glove Arrow, one of the most ridiculous comic book weapons ever created. While it may seems like this should pale in comparison to some of the more overtly dramatic moments featured in superhero media throughout the year, it was a fun and strangely well-constructed realisation of an infamously stupid comic book weapon that really shines a light on how far comic book adaptations have come.
4. Flash vs Arrow – The Flash
While arguably they have been around for longer than superheroes in movies, superheroes on television have only just been truly committing to their comic book origins. However, the Flash/Arrow crossover episodes were a big step towards this on television, as we finally got to see two major-league DC superheroes on-screen together, and nothing in the crossover was more satisfying than the fight between a rage-powered Flash and the more tactical Arrow in the episode “Flash vs Arrow”. While the outcome should have been foregone in the favour of the super-powered Flash, Oliver Queen’s greater skillset served him well and they fought, of course, to a standstill. But the fight was incredibly well-choreographed and looked almost movie-quality, a rarity for network television. So while it didn’t settle any nerd arguments over ‘who would win in a fight’, it was still good enough to be my fourth favourite superhero moment of the year.
3. Hail Hydra – Captain America: The Winter Soldier
If the Boxing Glove Arrow was a small superhero moment of 2014, this is pretty much the opposite: an enormous, seismic moment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe which changed things forever across film and television. On the run from S.H.I.E.L.D., an embattled Steve ‘Cap’ Rogers stumbles across an SSR bunker containing a supercomputer which holds the consciousness of sadistic Nazi scientist Arnim Zola, who reveals that the entirety of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been infiltrated by Hydra. Seeing the organisation he sacrificed himself for resurrected and threatening to tear his entire world down again is a heart-breaking moment for Captain America, but one which galvanises him into action and sets the climactic events of the movie into action. A single moment between a super-soldier and a Nazi supercomputer changed everything in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and even eight months later we’re still feeling the ripples from this event, particularly in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. To be honest, there was no version of things in which this moment didn’t make this list.
2. The Inhumans Are Born – Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
If the Hydra reveal in Winter Soldier changed things in the earthbound sections of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the final moments of the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. midseason finale brought in some truly otherworldly elements as it was finally revealed that both Skye and Raina are in fact the products of alien experiments known as Inhumans. The moment the alien MacGuffin known as either the Obelisk or the Diviner opens and reveals a Terrigen crystal, causing Skye and Raina to form cocoons around their bodies as the dying Agent Triplett is forced to watch helplessly was another truly heartbreaking moment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and another one which will have huge ramifications when the show returns in March. Coupled with the revelation that Skye is actually comic book character Daisy ‘Quake’ Johnson, it also means some huge changes for the presumably now super-powered character. Not only that, but it also paves the way for the Inhumans movie, coming in 2018, so again: how could it not make it onto this list?
1. “You said it yourself, bitch…we’re the Guardians of the Galaxy.” – Guardians of the Galaxy
This one is a more character-based moment than the enormous, earth-shattering revelations of the last couple of moments, but it is the example which gave me chills to the greatest extent. Having been beaten, battered, broken and berated by Kree fanatic Ronan the Accuser, the ragtag team of space criminals comes together in the way that only immortals have done in the past, and take the rampaging, chaotic energies of an Infinity Stone into themselves. Then, with characteristic snark, Peter ‘Star-Lord’ Quill blasts Ronan twice, firstly with the above quote and then with the raw energy of the Infinity Stone, causing the Kree ‘turd-blossom’ to explode and the day to be won. If you include the distracting Peter Quill dance-off that comes before it then this should incontrovertibly be the absolute top of everybody’s lists, whether they’re talking about superhero movies or not.
So there you have it, my top 5 superhero moments of 2014: let me know some of yours in the comments section!